Saturday, October 29, 2011

PUMPKIN PICKING CANCELLED

 I should've checked the forecast yesterday, because I did not expect this to be the view from our window this morning. I expected crispy, sunny, beautiful fall day perfect for pumpkin picking. How wrong was I. Needless to say we are not going to the farm today, so no pumpkins this Halloween. I might still throw a little party though...
 I turned on the heat for the first time in our new place and it seems to warm up the house nicely, minus the bathrooms. Gosh, I would love to find a place with heated bathroom floors. That's number 3 thing I miss the most from Finland. It's just so wonderfully comfortable to walk barefoot on a heated floor. 
The kitties are also feeling cold and I find them snuggled up on each other more often than normally. 
 Today we'll all stay in, cook something good, I might even bake if I have all ingredients necessary, watch some movies, listen to some Soundhouse and enjoy the mood.

Friday, October 28, 2011

MADAME TUSSAUD'S NYC

Since I haven't got any spare time in my hands this week I'll share some older photos from our Girl's Night Out few years ago. We all worked together at the time and got free passes from work to go check out Madame Tussaud's Wax Cabinet in Times Square so that we'll be able to sell it to our hotel guests. We got there quite late, maybe two hours before it closed so there was hardly any people. And oh my goodness, we had more fun than we could've imagined, took million pictures and even sang some Alicia Keys for Simon Cowell at the Idols stage (there is a video from that but that will NEVER be published...). 
Jamming with Mick was fun as always. 
Girl Power with the Spice Girls.
One Love. Have a funny weekend! I'm going to try to get the hubby to go pumpkin picking with me to our local farm so that we can have our traditional pumpkin carving partay. These are the beautiful, sunny days of fall.
P.S. Since everyone is on Facebook nowadays, Katz & I had to get there too. If you like us, then please Like us on Facebook too.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

DON'T WORRY

Source unknown but I love it. There's too much useless worrying in our lives. Stop it!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

MOTHER AMMA IN FINLAND


I've never been religious, but spiritual and like to learn about different religions and philosophies. While traveling in India I was definitely drawn to hinduism, but buddhism became my number one interest and I'm still very eager to learn more about it. But recently I was introduced to someone new; "The Hugging Saint" and Amma "Mother", is a spiritual leader and guru, who is revered as a saint by her followers. She is widely respected for her humanitarian activities all around the world and I had the honor to receive a hug from her when she was visiting Finland last weekend. 
This was my first time for the hug and I had no expectations about it. But something strange started happening when I was on line, about 5 feet from Amma, waiting for darshan. I felt sudden wave of warmness come to me and my emotions surfaced and I felt extremely happy and grateful. I never felt anything divine like this before. I was on high for sure. Next day I came back just to enjoy the atmosphere, meditate and I also attended the Devi Bhava, kirtan and puja. What an amazing experience.
 I wore my rudraksha beads both days with Amma and finally got interested on their meaning and discovered that the brick-red coloured dried berry of the Rudraksha tree has played a dominant role on the Indian arena for a long time now. Rudra (terrible) aksha (eye), the name connotes the effect of the seed on evil and its concomitants. According to Hindu mythology, Lord Shiva used a fire weapon called Aaghor to kill Tripura Sur, the troublesome demon. The weapon killed the demon, but temporarily blinded Shiva too, who had to shut his eyes to escape its dazzling brilliance. When Shiva opened his eyes, they were watery. Places on earth where the teardrops fell sprouted Rudraksha trees.
It is believed that Rudraksha cures many illnesses including those related to blood pressure and heart. Rudraksha's protective powers are known to be that powerful that it can actually protect the wearer from untimely death. Ancient sages maintained that Rudraksha provides peace and tranquility. Note: The effect of the Rudraksha is evident after forty days of wearing it!
And look what I found from my mom's closet to wear as my night gown. Fits the theme here so well! :) Om lokah samastah sukhino bhavantu. May the entire world be happy.

Monday, October 17, 2011

HOW I DID IT: SETTLING IN NEW YORK


Why did you move to your new city? 
For love and work. After graduating from college in Finland I received an email from the company where I completed my final internship asking if I was interested in coming back and working for them.

I had hard time finding work in Finland AND I had met a guy in New York during my internship whom I'm happy to call my husband now. So there was no doubt about me coming back and starting to build my life here.

What do you like best about living in New York? Diversity. Good vibes. Excitement. Beauty. Ugliness. It's so rough around the edges. I love that whatever I want I can find it on this small island.

What was the easiest part of your relocation? The visa process, which I did entirely by myself without any help from anyone. I did lots of research online and asked questions from free online immigration lawyer websites and immigration boards.

What was the hardest part of your relocation?Leaving family and friends behind. It's comforting to know I will always have a place to go if I wanted to go back to Finland. My family also visits me usually once a year for few weeks and that's always great.

How would you describe your relocation experience?It went pretty smoothly. I didn't have to be away from my husband more than few weeks at a time during the process and I already had a job to come to, so no stress about that either. I was able to fit the most important ones of my worldly possessions in two suitcases and bring them here in one trip.
Take risks:  if you win, you will be happy; if you lose, you will be wise.

* * * *

Read the rest of the interview at  Crash Course City, a guide planning your relocation to New York, Los Angeles or London. 

Friday, October 14, 2011

ABC'S OF ME

Age: Age ain't nutting but a number, therefore I am ageless :)
Bedsize: Queen that's starting to feel a bit small for two people and two growing cats.
Chores that you hate: All of them, but vacuuming, mopping and dusting just bores me out of my mind. I'm still contemplating hiring some nice little cleaning lady. 
Dogs: I will forever miss my German Shepherd Sizzy. R.I.P. love.
 Cats: Miina and Moses. My Siamese sweethearts complete our rainbow family.
Essential start to your day: Tongue scraper, warm water with lemon and my famous green smoothie.
Favorite color: Black. And different hues of orange.
Gold or Silver: Silver. Gold looks good on me only when I'm tanned.
Height: 5'-8"
Instruments you play: None well. Few songs with piano.
Job title: I HATE MY JOB.
Kids: None now. Some day maybe. Three is good number.
Mother's Name: Kristiina
Nicknames: Kat, Katz, K, KK, Special K, BabyKakes, Katupat (my husband made up that senseless tribal name and embarrases me frequently by yelling it out loud when were shopping and I drift away)
Overnight hospital stays: When I was born. I believe.
Pet peeves: when people say "I aksed him why". Dude, it ain't so hard to say. ASK.
Quote from a movie or tv show: "Totally... Totes McGotes!" (I love you man)
Right or Lefty: Righty tighty!
Siblings: Yesh I do. Younger. Sister.
Time you wake up: To go to work at 5.15am and hit the snooze button few times after that. When there's no work I naturally wake up around 9am.
Underwear: Comfort comes first.
Vegetable you hate: Okra (so slimy and nasty). And celery but slowly trying to make friends with it and already allow it in my smoothies. Still hate the taste though, but it's healthy so what am I to do.
What makes you run late: Hitting snooze button few too many times and then trying to have time to make and drink my morning smoothie.
X-Rays You've Had: Only at the dentist once every year (is it really necessary or is it just the way to get my money???)
Yummy food you make: Vegetarian only. Stews. Anything I can just throw in a pot and stick in the oven.
Zoo Animal: Zoos are depressing. There's no reason to keep animals in cages. Watch TV if you want to see them. So many great  documentaries out there. I believe in animal liberation.
Now play along if you want and post your answers in comments or in your blog and have a wonderful weekend! Mine is going to be full of friends as well as some spirituality. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

COUGAR PILLOW BOOTS

Dress by Kensie Girl
My friends from Cougar Boots sent me these wonderful boots to test again. Previously I have tried and loved the Rain Boots as well as the Winter Boots which are both in heavy rotation. Amazing quality and comfort, not to forget about the style. Therefore I was beyond excited when the package arrived with their new limited edition Pillow Boots inside.
We have pretty harsh winters here in North East US with our snowstorms and suchs and our shoes should be designed to withstand these conditions. It just doesn't make sense to me to wear high heeled pumps in a foot of snow, although I see many women persistantly struggle with that in Manhattan every winter, and I laugh my evil laugh. The tan (with red fleece lining) Cougar Pillow Boot became a Canadian icon in 1976 and the new improved version has all the qualities of the original - waterproof and warm up to -24 celsius (11 fahrenheit). I prefer my toes to feel warm and comfy, but yet oh so stylish.
For more info check out  www.pillowboot.com. You can find out where to buy them here.
Dear readers, please do me a favor and fill out this short survey to tell your thoughts on the Cougar Pillow Boot. For every completed survey Matchstick will donate $2 to the Red Cross. 

Thank you and enjoy the beautiful autumn!

JUMPSUIT

I have just earlier mentioned my love for ponchos because of how comfortable they are, but here comes another favorite; the jumpsuit. I actually wore it under the grey poncho so I doubled my comfort that day. This is few years old, I believe it's from Forever21 or Charlotte Russe and it's very light material and extremely stretchy and has great tight cut at the midsection and flowy otherwise.
Only minus, which is well known with jumpsuits, is going to the bathroom and having to strip down half naked in order to get your pants down. Just don't forget to lock the door. Also I notice now that I should've accessorize this outfit a bit better with some big, long statement necklace. Oh, well, next time. Have a beautiful day!

Monday, October 10, 2011

VISIT TO THE COUNTRYSIDE FARM STORE


Sunny Sunday gave the perfect reason to get out and seek some (even more) peaceful places and views. We ended up driving about 19 miles south west, through the fields and farms, to get to this cute little farm store and cafe called Maatilapuoti (Farm Store).
They grow their own wheat, barley, rye and oat and you can buy it in the form of flour or hand made, preservative-free breads and pastries. There's also great selection of seasonal produce such as dried mushrooms, vegetables, jams, honey, old-time candies, arts and crafts. All products are individually produced by small producers from local raw materials. By the way, I have to apologize the quality of these cellphone photos. Not good. I'll keep my real camera with me from now on...
I wore a poncho over long sleeve and cardigan and was freezing my butt off. It's getting that cold that I just need to pack my ponchos away and start wearing actual coats. Same time I hear New York has been enjoying beautiful hot weather. What??!! But I still rather be here in Finland...

Sunday, October 9, 2011

HOME SWEET HOME FAVORITES

My room. I feel like a kid again. The pillow case with a cow was bought in India over 20 years ago from Mapusa market near Goa and is still in pretty good shape. I guess the seller wasn't lying when he said "Stockmann quality, Anttila price!". Ok, that's something only Finns might understand, but basically Stockmann is expensive department store in Finland that sells quality stuff and Anttila is a store that sells cheap stuff. The doggy in the bed has been with me for over 25 years and still doesn't have a name! All my other plush toys and dolls do, but not my sleeping buddy. Maybe that says something about me...
Hesburger veggie burger. They actually changed it this year and now it's falafel burger. Still so good. Got to have one every trip. Which means I enjoy one every year.
I can't even tell you how many Karelian pies I've had in this trip. I could eat them every day all the time. Best things ever. Served warm straight out the toaster oven. Yummy.
I didn't loose my good ways when I came for vacation, thanks to my mom. She as well starts her mornings with green smoothies. I know when it's time to wake up when I hear the blender going. Best way to wake up.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

FINLAND, FINLAND, THE COUNTRY WHERE I WANT TO BE...

Yes! I'm in Finland! I came here for vacation for three weeks and it feels great to spend long enough time here for once. My trips are normally barely one week long and that just doesn't leave enough time to relax, take it easy and do everything I want to do and meet everyone I want to meet. 
 The problem usually is that the US vacation times are pathetic. I still get only two weeks a year. Of course I then take unpaid vacation whenever I can, but never dared to ask consecutive three weeks. Sure it wasn't easy. I had to go back and forth and eventually to the upper management (General Manager) and finally got my vacation. My supervisor propably hates me now, but I couldn't care less. Family is more important.
Of course we had time to stop by Hullut Paivat (Crazy Days) at our fancier department store Stockmann for all the wonderful discounts and deals. But since I'm not allowed to buy more stuff (last move was madness) we bought only food, Karelian pies, 100% rye bread and many other delicacies that I'll introduce to you later on.
My mom keeps the yard always so nice and I just learned that they planted Sea Buckthorn bushes in their yard (not pictured)! I need to be here next August-September when the berries come out. Buckthorn is a superfood that has the biggest concentration of vitamin E than any other plant. Sea Buckthorn berries also contain tons of vitamins C, A and K as well as many B vitamins. Previously, it had been assumed that no plant contains a significant amount of vitamin B12, but recently it has been found that Sea Buckthorn not only contains all the B vitamins, its vitamin B12 content is as high as in liver. That's great news for vegans and vegetarians! Source
Also souvenir shopping is almost done. I love the Moomins!